Second Life Opinion: The CGI Vote
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been writing about the Countless Galaxies situation. I was offline most of yesterday, and logged in to day to find a statement from Marc Attenborough stating that “over 80% of the outstanding shares - excluding Jasper & Payday have voted in favor of the merger”. He goes on to say that he holds no shares in CGI or BNT “and was brought in as an objective 3rd party”. Details can be found in the Finance Section of the Secondlife Newspaper.
Yet looking at his group memberships in Second Life, he is listed as a member of “CGI Shareholders” as well as a member of “Brautigan & Tuck Holdings”. Another part of Marc Attenborough’s credibility supposedly came from his role as CFO at the Second Life Exchange Commission.
Yet it is interesting to note that PatrickJ Ah, who was pushing for the BNT option, is Vice President of the SLEC and Intlibber Braughtigan of BNT is also a director of the SLEC.
Numerous people reported various irregularities with the vote. Some people asserted that PatrickJ discouraged people from making proposals, or that proposals were submitted that despite PatrickJ’s comments at the CGI shareholder’s meeting that no other proposals were submitted. PatrickJ strongly denies these assertions.
Others noted that the ballots were created by PatrickJ and people were not told to make them non modifiable. This means that the votes could very easily be tampered with and are much less auditable.
After the vote, I received comments from officers of several different companies. They ranged from fairly straightforward to anger.
“PatrickJ did what he wanted. He wanted to give it [CGI] to BNT and is now caching in himself while the sims are sold.”
“Perhaps they [PatrickJ and IntLibber] deserve each other.”
“This is bullshit about the BNT thing. I want a recount or a post of the vote, cause BNT isn’t even on an exchange. And I don’t understand why Payday gets to vote since he is the owner of the bank… It’s funny how other people put in proposals for CGI and only the BNT one came through, funny how Jasper was talking about merging with BNT before this happened. Something very fishy here. I want a recount. Funny about how PatrickJ and IntLibber work together on the SLEC and Patrickj is a VP of BNT. Conflict of interest.”
My personal take on this. I am a CGI shareholder. I own a very small number of shares. I bought 20 shares on August 29th for L$ .51 per share. It was part of my testing of the VSTEX interface. So, if I lose all ten Lindens, that doesn’t particularly matter to me. What does matter to me is the future of trading in Second Life.
Over the past couple of months, there has been the problem of the hacking of the World Stock Exchange, the crash of Ginko Financial, the head of which was the second largest shareholder of BNT before BNT got delisted from the Second Life Capital Exchange. There has been the whole Jasper Tizzy affair with both CGI and AVC. There has been the issue with Investor Allen and Allenvest Investment Capital. Now, there are questions about the CGI shareholder vote.
Due to the pseudonymous nature of Second Life as well as the lack of auditability of Second Life companies, and lack or recourse, investing in Second Life companies is about the equivalent of giving an unsecured loan to someone you don’t know. It doesn’t make much business sense. The handling of the CGI vote only reinforces these problems.
Let us hope that future shareholder votes make proper use of non-modifiable notes and vote counting from sources that are truly independent and auditable.
After the CGI meeting, people talked about the future of trading in Second Life. I continue to be hopeful. I believe that people will come up with ways of verifying companies and their management and of getting proper access to the underlying assets of companies should there be problems with the management.
When this happens, Second Life trading will begin to take off and offer great opportunities to people in Second Life and small businesses in general. Unfortunately, all that handling of the CGI vote has done is to further tarnish the reputations of PatrickJ, IntLibber, Marc, BNT, the SLEC and trading in Second Life in general.